Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander put the team up for sale in July, and now one of the team’s former stars has emerged as a potential part-owner of the franchise: Hakeem Olajuwon.

Hakeem Olajuwon Rockets Ownership Stake

“I’m buying it,” the Hall of Famer joked Tuesday, before getting more serious about the matter.

“Many groups now have called me and want me involved,” said Olajuwon, now a Rockets team ambassador. “With two of the groups, I’m doing my background check to see if that is a possibility. Just an association would be great.

“I’m still with the organization now. I have a contract with the Rockets, not to be in an ownership position. But if the opportunity opens itself, it will be something great.”


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Olaujwon helped lead the Rockets to their only two championships, which came in consecutive years (1994, 1995) after Alexander first bought the franchise in 1993.

Houston has drawn interest from many other NBA teams and players in recent weeks, including veteran New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who has listed the franchise as his preferred destination. The Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni was named Coach of the Year and All-Star guard James Harden was the MVP runner-up this year. Houston also bolstered its roster this offseason by signing veteran point guard Chris Paul in a blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Besdies Olajuwon, another rumored potential part-owner of the Rockets is Grammy-winning artist Beyonce, who is a Houston native. Bloomberg first reported Beyonce was a possible part-owner.

“I think they were a championship team last year,” said Olajuwon, who now lives in the United Kingdom where his children are in school and he is involved with a basketball club in the city of Birmingham. “That series we lost against San Antonio, I think we could have given Golden State a better series than San Antonio did.”

“I believe that I’ve never played one season thinking we cannot win a championship. It’s open in the playoffs — I believe if this team plays with confidence and plays their game, they have a chance,” Olajuwon continued.

“I’ve always believed that if you have a legitimate team like Houston, with one of the best records in the league, they are a championship team. But of course, the West is so strong that you have to go against Golden State or San Antonio. But I think they can beat San Antonio.”

The Rockets lost to the San Antonio Spurs in six games in this year’s Conference Semifinals. Houston has not won a Conference title since 1995.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the Rockets will sell for about $1.9 billion.

12 Jul 1996: Center Hakeem Olajuwon of Dream Team III stretches prior to the USA’s 118-77 victory over Australia at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport

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